Pacific Symphony: June concerts

This month we wind up the season with classical concerts and pops concerts. Here’s a quick guide to all of our events in June, with links to tickets.

Anne Akiko Meyers

A pair of young musicians who are already established in international careers visit the orchestra May 31-June 2. British conductor Ben Gernon, born in 1989, principal guest conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, makes his Pacific Symphony debut with a program that includes Prokofiev’s “Russian Overture” and Stravinsky’s vibrant ballet “Petrushka.” In between, Israel pianist Boris Giltburg, born in 1984, winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2013, takes on Rachmaninoff’s ever-popular Piano Concerto No. 2. Tickets here

Pops conductor Richard Kaufman is on hand for the series finale (June 8-9), when Stayin’ Alive, a Bee Gees tribute band, arrives to re-create the hits of the kings of falsetto. On the first half of the program, Kaufman leads light classics by Johann Strauss Jr., Otto Nicolai, John Williams and others. Tickets here

Richard Strauss’ rambunctious tone poem “Ein Heldenleben” is featured in concerts June 14-16. With its extended violin solos, the work serves to introduce local audiences to the orchestra’s new concertmaster, Dennis Kim. Star violinist Anne Akiko Meyers also appears in a trio of short solo works, Ravel’s “Tzigane,” Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” and Bernstein’s “Somewhere.” Carl St.Clair conducts, opening the program with Glinka’s Overture to “Ruslan and Ludmilla.” Tickets here

A slightly truncated version of this concert (Lauridsen, Ravel, Strauss) is offered as a matinee on June 17. Tickets here

Also this month, at the Balboa Bay Resort, Pacific Symphony presents the 11th annual Pacific Coast Wine Festival, featuring  a wine auction and wine-paired dinner, and wine tasting of exceptional wines from the premier wine producing regions of the world. Tickets here

Pops season announced

Pacific Symphony unveiled programming today for its 2018-2019 pops season, seven programs each repeated twice, running October to June. Richard Kaufman returns for his 28th season as principal pops conductor. All performances are held in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.

The season opens Oct. 12-13 with actress and singer Vanessa Williams joining the orchestra to perform songs from throughout her career.

Several vocalists will appear in “The Wonderful World of Oz” (Nov. 9-10), a show featuring songs from “Wicked,” “The Wiz” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

The Christmas show (Dec. 14-15) is highlighted by teenage singer Jackie Evancho, who will perform songs from her holiday album and more.

Valentine’s Day comes around and so does Kenny G (Feb. 15-16). The popular saxophonist will offer his cool jazz sound in symphonic arrangements.

Leslie Odom, Jr., star of “Hamilton,” arrives March 15-16. The Tony and Grammy winning singer will offer Broadway and jazz hits, including from Jerome Kern and Nat King Cole.

The tribute band Windborne delves into the symphonic rock of Queen (April 26-27), promising revivals of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and others.

The season ends (May 31-June 1) with semi-staged performances of Lerner and Loewe’s classic musical “My Fair Lady.”

Subscriptions are available now in packages of seven and four concerts. Call (714) 755-5799. Renewing subscribers can also go to pacificsymphony.org/renew. New subscribers should visit pacificsymphony.org/pops.

Audio: Symphonic ‘La La Land’

I hope this will eventually become part of the symphonic pops repertoire. For those of you who have seen the movie, this is the music played during the scene inside the Griffith Observatory. It’s good to listen to it without the visuals. Music by Justin Hurwitz.